Re: Garfield: "Acknowledged Self-Archiving is Not Prior Publication"

From: Richard Stallman <>
Date: Mon, 9 Sep 2002 19:34:39 -0400

> Well, isn't this the whole point? I mean the ENTIRE point? The issue of
> intellectual property (or knowledge or whatever you want to call it)
> dissemination has only a teeny weeny bit to do with its creation and a huge
> amount with actually calling things to people's attention. This is what
> publishers do.

Amazing--he seriously claims we should all give up our freedom to
copy, merely to help publishers practice hype. You can tell business
has too much power when they assert that they are entitled to special
priviledge just so they can convince us to make them successful.

By the way, it is erroneous as well as harmful to refer to books or
journal articles as "intellectual property". That term properly
refers to copyrights, patents, trademark rights, and various other
artificial monopolies, not to the works, ideas, names, etc., that are
the subject of these monopolies.

However, using the term even for its proper meaning is harmful,
because people should not lump copyrights, patents, trademarks, etc.
together. If you do that, you will be led to choose among simplistic
overgeneralizations and will not be able to see the real issues raised
by copyright law, or the (different) real issues raised by patent law,
or the (comparatively minor) real issues raised by trademark law, etc.
Any opinion about "intellectual property" is invariably foolish.
We need to encourage people not to try to form such broad opinions.

See for more
Received on Tue Sep 10 2002 - 00:34:39 BST

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